19 November 2004
A butterfly fluttered under the eaves of Southwick railway station. It was almost certainly a Red Admiral and it may turn out to be the last one of the year.
A Red Admiral Butterfly was attracted to Verbena bonariensis still showing flower in my south Lancing garden at TQ 186 044.
A late butterfly flew strongly over a garden near Buckingham Park in Shoreham in the afternoon (TQ 219 063). It was almost certainly a Red Admiral Butterfly. The temperature only reached 8.9 ºC.
Adur Butterfly List 2004
Adur Butterflies Flight Times
With the sun very low in the clear blue autumnal sky, the temperature only reached 8.0 ºC, the coolest daytime temperature since 11 March 2004. Understandably, there were no butterflies.
Four or five Red Admiral Butterflies danced around Lancing Clump in pairs. The air temperature reached 11.1 ºC by the time this message was received.
Maximum air temperatures ° C for the beginning of November 2004:
These temperatures are lower than for the beginning of November 2003, but on 2 November 2003 there were gales and on the 9 November 2003 the highest daytime temperature fell to 10.9° C, although temperatures over 15° C occurred at least five times later in the month.
A Red Admiral Butterfly was seen in Ullswater Road Sompting.
Red Admiral Butterflies were reported in numbers up to three at a time from south and north Lancing, Old Shoreham (Waterworks Road) and a north Shoreham garden by three different observers. A Silver Y Moth was seen on the footpath approach to Mill Hill from the Waterworks Road. One specimen that settled on the gravel Waterworks Road, perhaps for the additional warmth, was a dark chocolate brown on the upper wings, whilst the specimen resting on a wooden fence in a garden was black.
A Red Admiral Butterfly fluttered strongly over my south Lancing garden at TQ 186 044.
A single Red Admiral visited my north Lancing garden.
Two Clouded Yellow Butterflies were seen in Shoreham.
26 October 2004
A Red Admiral spotted in a sunny garden on Old Salts Farm Road, Lancing.
I spotted a blue butterfly fluttering around a sunbathed garden on the Manor Road, near St James-the-less church in North Lancing. It flew 60 cm from the ground and quickly disappeared. I'd guess it was a Holly Blue.
At least two of the Red Admiral Butterflies have not gone into hibernation yet as they were still fluttering around the Ivy and one was disturbed from the muddy footpath approach to Mill Hill from the Waterworks Road.
Five Red Admiral Butterflies seen.
White Butterfly visited the back garden
of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham
(TQ 219 063).
Shoreham: Towns & Gardens 2004
A couple of Red Admirals appeared in south Lancing, Sussex, one in my garden at TQ 186 044, another a half a mile away. They looked fresh but first one had section of its wing missing.
18 October 2004
A Speckled Wood Butterfly rested on the seat at the top of McIntyres Field (north-west).
A few Red Admiral Butterflies were seen in my south Lancing garden (TQ 186 044).
16 October 2004
A few Red Admiral Butterflies were seen at Lancing Clump.
A Speckled Wood Butterfly was seen on the edge of McIntyres Field (near Lancing Clump).
Just one butterfly was seen in a twenty minute sojourn on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. A Small Copper was at the northern end and probably the one seen before. A single Silver Y Moth chose the shelter amongst some Wild Privet.
A few Swallows flying over Mill Hill, with just one Wall Brown Butterfly near the Wayfaring Bush by the path in a fleeting visit to the lower slopes. A Red Admiral Butterfly fluttered off the Ivy on the footpath approach to Mill Hill from the Waterworks Road.
As Mill Hill was buffeted by a Force 6 Strong Breeze from the east, two Wall Brown Butterflies were seen, one south-west of Mill Hill Bridge (over the A27) and the other on the path at the top of the lower slopes. A Comma Butterfly fluttered briefly over one the glades that uses to be clear a few years before. A Red Admiral Butterfly settled for a moment on the path just north of the reservoir.
Speckled Wood Butterfly and a Large White still just outside by patio door in my Shermanbury garden (upper River Adur).
8 October 2004
Only one butterfly was seen on the upper slopes of Mill Hill, and this was a Comma in a glade south of the upper car park.
Early morning and their was a chill in the air with the temperature falling to 10.2 ºC, only rising to 15.5 ºC despite the sun being out in mid-afternoon. Could this explain the dearth of butterflies? Just a handful of Meadow Browns at the northern end of the lower slopes of Mill Hill and a Clouded Yellow Butterfly.
On the footpath approach to Mill Hill from the Waterworks Road, the sun was out but there was some many bees, bumblebees, wasps, flies and hoverflies that only one Red Admiral Butterfly found a place to settle.
in flight on Lancing Ring were a few each
of Speckled Woods on
the bridlepath and in the wood, Red Admirals
everywhere and Small Whites
nearer the houses.
So the total number of butterflies for the day fell to about twenty actually seen of just five species.
The following butterflies were seen on Lancing Ring and the surrounding meadows: 1 Red Admiral, 1 Clouded Yellow (on the western side), several Wall Browns, 4 Small Heaths (this is both the first record received from both the Lancing Clump meadows and for the month of October), many Whites and many Speckled Woods. Six species in a day is notable for October.
Not a lot to report but in my Shermanbury garden (upper River Adur): a Large White on the Ivy and a Speckled Wood on the blackberries.
On the footpath approach to Mill Hill from the Waterworks Road, the first butterflies to be seen as the large droplets of rain threatened a deluge were two Comma Butterflies, on the Ivy, close enough for both to fit in the camera frame, followed immediately by a faded, but not ragged, Painted Lady Butterfly which settled on the path for over a minute, during which time just a single Red Admiral fluttered up from the Ivy, before I took shelter from the rain shower.
condition Wall Brown
fluttered over the lower slopes of Mill
Hill and then more were discovered with
four at one time, plus a damaged specimen which gave a minimum of five
of these flighty butterflies and maximum of ten, the two counts because
the higher one may have involved the same butterfly being counted twice.
They visited Milkwort
and Stemless Thistle
but as usual with this butterfly they preferred to land on bare earth where
available. Again it was the Devil's Bit Scabious
that attracted a dozen plus Meadow Brown
Butterflies. The worn Adonis
Blue and a ragged female
Common Blue (not
the Brown Argus, too much blue on the upper
wings) were both
present at the northern end of the Shoreham Bank after a five minutes wait
and roam around to see if they would appear.
There were no butterflies of any species on the middle or upper slopes of Mill Hill. Altogether about thirty butterflies of seven species made an appearance in an hour.
On the footpath approach to Mill Hill from the Waterworks Road, I was surprised by a small butterfly that turned out to be a Small Copper, the first from this area, and a first seen in October. A few Red Admirals were pristine and a Comma Butterfly was in good condition. These latter two butterflies were attracted to the Ivy.
Admiral Butterflies were also to be
seen on the southern part of Mill Hill, one by the last houses and the
high hedge and another one fluttering over the long grasses and scrub.
Rain was spitting just after midday, but for a very brief interlude there were a few rays of sunshine, which brought a few butterflies in flight, definitely confirmed on the lower slopes of Mill Hill were a handful of Meadow Browns, one dazzling bright Clouded Yellow that flew incessantly over the slopes without stopping, a Small Copper near the Tor Grass, a battered and worn Brown Argus, even more ragged than before, the worn and almost unrecognisable Adonis Blue, one Small White Butterfly and that was it for the butterflies, although there was the small moth Pyrausta nigrata. (A Wall Brown was not confirmed and Small Heath Butterflies appeared to be absent.) The Brown Argus was a first October record as well.
The count was eight different butterflies for the day.
Adur Butterflies Flight Times
The Buddleia is still blossoming well in my south Lancing garden (TQ 186 044) and it continues to attract one, sometimes two Red Admirals.
The Hummingbird Hawk-moth is still coming to feed as it has been doing for at least the last week.
A Large White Butterfly flew languidly slowly over the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ 219 063). There was a brown butterfly as well which had been seen before, but flew too quickly to be identified. By default I have got it down as a Meadow Brown, but it could have been a Small Tortoiseshell.
either brief sign of the sun breaking through the clouds, although
the temperature was 17.6 ºC in a Moderate Breeze; but
still it was only just about warm enough to send the few worn and battered
butterflies and bumblebees into flight. Again,
I had to thank the Devil's Bit Scabious for
any butterflies at all. A dozen Meadow
Browns, some new, some badly worn, at
the northern end of the lower slopes of Mill
Hill, with one new Wall
Brown, and a badly worn and slightly damaged
blue butterfly, which was so damaged that a positive identification was
not possible. It looked like an Adonis
Blue, but not the one seen on 24
September 2004 as the wing damage was
different. I does look almost identical to one spotted on 26
The Wall Brown was observed nectaring on Wild Basil and the flightly Adonis Blue on Carline Thistle.
If it was an Adonis Blue Butterfly, and this seems likely, this would be the first one I have recorded in October.
Adur Butterflies Flight Times
A Large White Butterfly flew slowly over the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ 219 063). On Slonk Hill, there were so many orb web pages of the Garden Spider, Araneus diadematus, it would been that any butterflies would have had a difficult job avoiding them.
29 September 2004
A Small Copper Butterfly is seen on Lancing Ring.
27 September 2004
A few (4+) Red Admiral Butterflies fluttered over the Brambles on the footpath approach to Mill Hill from the Waterworks Road. The path running parallel with the A27 produced a pristine Wall Brown Butterfly. One was seen on the path earlier in the year. It flew rapidly and it did not return. This species of butterfly is easy to miss.
After the rain and with the misty clouds rolling over the downs, it was humid (87 %) but still warm, up to 19.2 ºC, although it it did not feel warm, it was certainly sticky. Butterflies were frequently seen but there were not all that many, just the one Small Heath Butterfly, the first seen, on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, followed by a dozen or so Meadow Browns, four or five Wall Browns (northern end, not near the Tor Grass), one Brown Argus sparring with a Small Copper, and two amorous Common Blues, the bright blue of the male particularly noticeable as they chased each other rapidly.
The ridge on Mill Hill produced just one Small White Butterfly.
A Hummingbird Hawk-moth visited the Buddleia in my south Lancing garden (TQ 186 044).
Two Holly Blue Butterflies and a few (4+) Red Admiral Butterflies fluttered over the Brambles on the footpath approach to Mill Hill from the Waterworks Road. The same Comma Butterfly of two days previously was seen with its wings open again.
A handful of Small White Butterflies were seen near gardens in Shoreham.
A Hummingbird Hawk-moth briefly visited a garden in north Shoreham.
Quite unexpected but two Holly Blue Butterflies were flying were fluttering around a large overgrown Privet hedge (about three metres high) that I was in the process of pruning. These may be the third brood?
In the north-west corner of the horse's field on the footpath approach to Mill Hill from the Waterworks Road, A Comma Butterfly and then a Red Admiral arose from the Brambles.
It was over five minutes down on the lower slopes of Mill Hill before I spotted by first butterfly flying in the distance. It was too far away, but when I arrived amongst the Tor Grass at the bottom of the slope in the central area, it looked like the same butterfly appeared again and it was a Wall Brown. It was unusual for this one to be the first butterfly of the day, although a suspected third brooder was observed in the same area last year. Less than a minute afterwards an splendidly iridescent blue butterfly, a strong flying Clouded Yellow and a Small Heath Butterfly appeared. Such a bright blue, I strongly suspected an Adonis Blue Butterfly, although the photograph made look like an exceptionally bright Common Blue Butterfly. The Devil's Bit Scabious and surrounding flora then immediately produced at least three Meadow Browns and the same Small Copper Butterfly as seen on my last visit. There were over 15 Meadow Browns, and a single Brown Argus Butterfly was definitely and clearly spotted as well as two or three or more female Common Blues*. A Large White Butterfly fluttered past. Later a Small White Butterfly was also seen. In the field to the north-west of Mill Hill Nature Reserve a Red Admiral fluttered amongst the Brambles.
(* identity not confirmed).
(too large for a Brown Argus.)
Of the thirteen (or fourteen) species of butterfly seen on Mill Hill, ten (or eleven) were exclusive to the lower slopes, two were on the footpath approach to Mill Hill from the Waterworks Road, and one species, a half a dozen Speckled Wood Butterflies were in the copse at the top. No butterflies of any species were recorded in the long grasses on the upper slopes.
Even the Small Whites are diminishing in numbers, one over Southwick Green and another by St. Julian's Church, Kingston Buci and one in Upper Shoreham Road, Shoreham (near the Driveway).
Just a solitary butterfly fluttered in the Strong Breeze from the long grass to the east of the Chalk Pit in Lancing Ring Nature Reserve. It was probably a Meadow Brown.
I managed a short visit to Malthouse Meadow, Sompting, in the warm sun. The western edge of the meadow is sheltered from the breeze. I was able to spot Small White, Comma, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood and a Small Copper Butterfly in the space of about fifty metres.
A pristine Red Admiral Butterfly, one Large White, one Small White and a Meadow Brown fluttered above the Waterworks Road. A few more Red Admiral Butterflies flew over the ivy with one Comma Butterfly further up the path to Mill Hill.
In the breeze under an overcast sky, few butterflies were expected and there may have been under twenty on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. The first to appear were a handful of Meadow Browns, a few Small Whites, at least one Large White until I reached the Devil's Bit Scabious at the northern end when one good condition female Common Blue with her wings closed nectaring on a the blue flowers, two more Meadow Browns and a Small Copper Butterfly were seen simultaneously. Less than a minute later there was a good condition male Common Blue Butterfly and more Meadow Browns and maybe another female Common Blue, although it could have been the one seen before. Small Heaths were not seen. They are usually obvious and I kept an eye out for them. They had either finished for the year or were hiding in the breeze or roosting? All the butterflies on the day were very flightly.
More than two good condition Red Admiral Butterflies are seen flying strongly around the Buddleia in the Somerfield supermarket entrance, Shoreham town, where they have not been seen before this year, but have been regular visitors in previous years. I speculate they were immigrants from France, or could they have been newly emerged local stock? A few Small White Butterflies were seen as well.
The Garden Orb Spiders are spinning their deadly webs in gardens and wasteland around Shoreham. In the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ 219 063), the spider captured the Small White Butterfly which was wrapped up and moved up the web into shelter to be eaten in a few minutes, estimated to be between five and ten minutes.
It took until just after midday before I saw my first Small Copper Butterfly of the year on a clump of Devil's Bit Scabious with at least three Meadow Brown Butterflies, one Small Heath, and two Common Blue Butterflies all at the same time, at the northern end of the lower slopes of Mill Hill. Butterflies numbered less than a hundred in 25 minutes on the lower slopes including a total of 35+ Meadow Browns, 15+ Small Heaths, 10+ Common Blues, 1+ Small White, 1 Large White, 1 Small Copper and one Wall Brown (near the Wayfaring Bush by the path). One particularly worn blue butterfly, so worn it could not be identified, although probably a Common Blue, seemed to follow me wherever I went.
At southern end of the Waterworks Road a Speckled Wood Butterfly fluttered by. On the footpath approach to Mill Hill from the Waterworks Road amongst the Brambles and Elderberry near the north-east corner of the horse's field, three Comma Butterflies and five Red Admirals were seen within less than a minute.
After the gales and late in the afternoon, it was unlikely that I would spot more than a handful of butterflies on the lower slopes of Mill Hill in the fading light. The butterflies could still be around but they had already chosen to roost and two Small Heath Butterflies were actually discovered roosting on two Devil's Bit Scabious flowers, so torpid that they did not fly off even when tickled. This was despite an air temperature of 17.8ºC at 5:00 pm. Later I disturbed a two Meadow Brown Butterflies which took flight and a Small Heath and a Large White Butterfly were seen fluttering, the latter rather languidly. A dozen or so Small White Butterflies were seen as I cycled past the residential gardens in Shoreham town.
Painted Lady and Large
Whites about this morning in my
south Lancing garden (TQ 186 044).
Verbena bonariensis is popular as ever as a plant attractive to flying insects.
12 September 2004
The first time I ever saw two Comma Butterflies together appeared on the Buddleia this morning in my south Lancing garden (TQ 186 044).
At first I thought there were no butterflies around on the south side A27 road embankment immediately north of Buckingham Park, under an overcast sky, except for the omnipresent Small Whites which seemed to be everywhere in gardens and wasteland and footpaths, but then in the area of the Brambles, three Comma Butterflies, one Red Admiral and a Speckled Wood Butterfly appeared in quick succession.
A Large White Butterfly and a Silver Y Moth were seen in Ray Hamblett's south Lancing garden (TQ 186 044).
Small Whites were common (100+) in the urban areas on a sunny day in a Moderate easterly Breeze with an air temperature that reached 25.1 ºC with one faded Painted Lady Butterfly on Lancing beach.
The Butterfly Copse (near the Waterworks Road) produced at last four Speckled Wood Butterflies, a few (2+) bright Red Admirals, a Holly Blue and a Small White all within five minutes.
Adur Butterfly Location and Numbers Records 2004 (under construction)
The Butterfly Copse (near the Waterworks Road) produced a Speckled Wood Butterfly, very bright Red Admiral, a Holly Blue, a Small White and Comma all within five minutes disturbed by a dog walker. Small Whites were everywhere in Shoreham town with numbers exceeding one hundred, but no Large Whites were identified.
The Coastal Link cyclepath north of Old Shoreham hosted a few Red Admiral Butterflies, scores of Small White Butterflies, one Painted Lady; just the three species of butterfly. South-east of the Toll Bridge there were more of the same, a Red Admiral defended its territory near the railway buffer, and losing out temporarily to an immigrant Painted Lady. A new addition to the day list was just one Common Blue Butterfly.
Bottom, (Dacre Gardens entrance) looked different with shorter grass,
but there were fresh cow pats and after a ten minute climb, nothing of
interest was seen and only two butterflies, one Small
Heath by the gate and a Meadow
Brown further up the hill amongst the
bushes dotted all over the slope.
Eight butterflies on the day without a visit to Mill Hill.
A Comma Butterfly was seen in my south Lancing garden (TQ 186 044).
The lower slopes of Mill Hill on a breezy sunny day hosted 8 male Chalkhill Blue Butterflies, at least 5 male Adonis Blues, a dozen or more Common Blues of both sexes, one or two Clouded Yellow Butterflies, 20+ Small Heaths, 15+ Meadow Browns, a handful of Small Whites and a Speckled Wood or two amongst the Brambles at the top of the slope near the Wayfaring Tree (near where the stile used to be). A lone Red Admiral fluttered over the footpath from the Waterworks Road (skirting the horse's field) to Mill Hill.
A fresh Large White Butterfly settled on a Buddleia near the Eastern Avenue railway crossing gates, Shoreham. I expect we will see a lot of these butterflies from now on, with the numerous Small Whites around.
Late in the afternoon from five o'clock because it was too hot (26.7 ºC at 3:30 pm) and humid (74%) before then, it is rarely a good time because the blue butterflies would have already gone to roost. And so it proved on the lower slopes of Mill Hill with just six confirmed Adonis Blue Butterflies, of which five of them were females, about ten Common Blues with more smaller than normal females than males, two Brown Argus, and just the one intact Chalkhill Blue, which was a male with a lot of brown on the wings. Five Clouded Yellow Butterflies fluttered by, one a particularly vivid yellow, 25+ Meadow Browns, 25+ Small Heaths some in an amorous mood, and a handful of Small Whites.
A Large White Butterfly was seen in the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ 219 063).
On a sunny day, a short visit to Lancing Ring via the Mill Road entrance and through the butterfly meadow was not enhanced with a wealth of butterfly sightings but dotted with incidents. A Common Blue here and a Meadow Brown there. I saw ten blues at most including one Small Copper and four Meadow Browns with just a single Red Admiral.
The visit occurred at 4:00 pm. A longer visit may have been more productive but this brief late summer visit was short on highlights.
An immigrant Clouded Yellow Butterfly fluttering over Widewater Lagoon, south Lancing, was a surprise.
On the Coastal Link cyclepath north of Old Shoreham, a bright yellow Brimstone Butterfly, (first local record for September), fluttered around the Buddleia. Small Whites were the commonest butterflies around, with a few Speckled Woods in the shaded bits, a few Red Admirals over a widespread area, and at least eight Painted Ladies were prominent on the cyclepath south-east of the Toll Bridge. No blue butterflies of any species were actually chanced upon, but they were probably present if searched for. A Large White Butterfly was seen in Ray Hamblett's south Lancing garden (TQ 186 044) with best view and highlight of the day of a Hummingbird Hawk-moth visiting the purple Buddleia in the same back garden. The furry caterpillar from the same garden looks like that of the Muslin Moth, Diaphora mendica, (not confirmed). It is reported to eat various low lying herbs including dandelions, chickweeds, docks and plantains.
What is that Caterpillar?
cycle ride was on the Coastal Link cycle ride to Botolphs and back via
the Coombes road.
John Knight (West Sussex CC Ranger) spotted a brown-blue butterfly in the long grasses just south of the Cement Works. I think from the description that this is one of the colourful female Common Blues that I have seen around recently on Mill Hill, but so far failed to obtain a recent photograph.
Adur Butterflies Flight Times
Lancing Nature Notes
An air temperature at 24.1 ºC at 1:10 pm seems to indicate an Indian summer, with blackberriers working holiday time in the pleasant sunshine with scarcely a breeze.
is such a dearth of butterflies in my south
Lancing garden (TQ 186 044) recently
that I have had almost nothing of interest to write about. With high temperatures
returning after a long wet spell and very little wind, sightings are improving.
A Red Admiral has located the Buddleia in the back garden and regularly nectars from it. Such is the territorial instinct of the creature that it attempts to drive off any other animal including a Painted Lady Butterfly that came close.
A Comma very briefly alighted on a Yellow Coneflower, my attempt to photograph it probably scared it off. Small White Butterflies have been plentiful, and seen almost every day when not raining, even then appearing soon after a shower passed. Large Whites are less prevalent but have been seen.
A Hummingbird Hawk Moth (mentioned above) on the dark purple Buddleia provided the first sighting of the year.
2 September 2004
Lower slopes of Mill Hill
With many of the Adonis Blue Butterflies (first September records) worn at the edges, it was not easy to immediately differentiate them from the Common Blues that were also on the wing. There were more than 30 of each on the lower slopes with at least a dozen possibly 20 worn Chalkhill Blues. Small Heaths were frequently seen almost constantly just in ones, numbering about 30+. Almost all female Meadow Browns were erratic, not so many, but all the butterflies clustered around the Carline Thistle plants and there were five Meadow Browns and two Adonis Blues on one plant with two Adonis Blues mating adjacent to it. The total of Meadow Browns on the lower slopes alone exceeded 25. There was at least one Brown Argus and one Small White Butterfly.
is one of the smaller female Common Blues (definitely).
It is 20% smaller than normal. A few Bird's Foot Trefoil are in flower.
on Devil's Bit Scabious
|Carline Thistle was very attractive to the butterflies. There were five Meadow Browns and one female and one male blue butterfly on this plant all at one time.|
One small brown butterfly with brown and golden wings (probably worn) and orange spots was probably an old female Common Blue. Altogether there were at least 150 butterflies of six species in 15 minutes.
There were a handful of Speckled Wood Butterflies in the wooded areas and probably more as I did not stop.
The upper slopes of Mill Hill seem to have less butterflies, notably frequent Common Blues, Meadow Browns and Small Heaths, in the long grasses near the copse, one pristine male Adonis Blue in the Triangle area, one pristine female Adonis near the Rabbit warren just off the edge of the ridge, and at least one worn Chalkhill Blue south of the reservoir.
Small White Butterflies were seen in the urban areas with one or two on the downs.
Only the usual common butterflies of the upper slopes of Mill Hill were present, including at least one Brown Argus, in the ten minute stopover. This was the first Brown Argus recorded in September in the Adur area on these web pages.
Also, the first Holly Blue for September was seen in the twitten between Ropetackle and Victoria Road, Shoreham. Alas, the possible Green-veined White near Shoreham Community Centre was not confirmed. No Adonis Blues were spotted on the upper slopes, so these could not be a first September sighting either.
DATABASE (compiled from 17 July 2004 to 31 August 2004) (Designed for viewing with Microsoft Internet Explorer):
Click on the text in the box for each month's records.
JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER
Recent records only (up to the end of August only):
|31 August 2004||Adonis Blue||
|Mill Hill||Andy Horton|
|31 August 2004||Brown Argus||
|Mill Hill||Andy Horton|
|31 August 2004||Chalkhill Blue||
|Mill Hill||Andy Horton|
|31 August 2004||Common Blue||
|Mill Hill||Andy Horton|
|31 August 2004||Holly Blue||
|Waterworks Road (Path to Mill Hill)||Andy Horton|
|31 August 2004||Meadow Brown||
|Mill Hill||Andy Horton|
|31 August 2004||Small Heath||
|Mill Hill||Andy Horton|
|31 August 2004||Small White||
|31 August 2004||Speckled Wood||
|Mill Hill Scrub||Andy Horton|
|30 August 2004||Large White||
|Portslade Town||Andy Horton|
|29 August 2004||Painted Lady||
|Lancing Garden||Andy Horton|
|28 August 2004||Common Blue||
|Cyclepath (Urban)||Andy Horton|
|28 August 2004||Painted Lady||
|Cyclepath (Urban)||Andy Horton|
|28 August 2004||Red Admiral||
|Cyclepath (Urban)||Andy Horton|
|28 August 2004||Small White||
(D) = mostly counted, but partially estimated
(E) = estimated
few = 4 to 9 counted
frequent = 10 to 100
= over 100
very common = over 300
abundant = over 1000
extremely abundant =over 3000 (butterflies only)
+ = usually estimated, but can be partially or wholly counted
c. = approximately
The butterfly season looks like coming a close with very few flowering plants apart from Stemless Thistle and Carline Thistle attractive to them. Adonis Blues and Common Blues were around on the lower slopes in about equal numbers, about a dozen males each with the brown females hiding in the grass and the same number of Chalkhill Blues which were battered and worn. There were at least two Brown Argus Butterflies on the lower slopes with 20+ Small Heaths and few Small Whites. The Meadow Browns were worn with plenty of females and over 30 on the lower slopes and more of the females close to the scrub everywhere on the hill.
There were more 20+ Common Blues on the upper slopes with an Adonis Blue on a neighbouring flower and more of them with a handful of Brown Argus Butterflies, a further dozen Small Heaths and a handful of Speckled Woods amongst the scrub. A few very worn Chalkhill Blues were seen south of the reservoir. A few Holly Blues were amongst the Brambles on the footpath from the Waterworks Road (skirting the horse's field) to Mill Hill.
These fine shots of the Small Copper from unusual angles were photographed by Brenda Collins, on Lancing Ring meadows and scrub.
This superb shots of a Large White and a Painted Lady were captured on camera by Brenda Collins.
The second brood Adonis Blue Butterflies were out on Mill Hill, a count of 29 males were recorded, all on the lower slopes. A similar number of at least 29 Chalkhill Blues were also out on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. The female Chalkhill Blues were observed to be well hidden and I am inclined to think that I missed most of them and the total was more like 40, half of which were females. The commonest butterflies were the Small Heaths with fifty plus. Other species included Meadow Browns, Common Blues, Holly Blues, Speckled Woods and Small Whites. There were unconfirmed possibles of at least one each of a Large White and a Brown Argus.
A Southern Hawker (dragonfly), Aeshna cyanea, caught a Small White Butterfly in flight, captured and held it, found a perch and then ate it on Lancing beach in a process that took about three minutes. An immigrant Painted Lady Butterfly was resting nearby.
Full Report and Extra Images
In Oxen Avenue, a residential area of Shoreham, the first Clouded Yellow Butterfly of August fluttered northwards, the black edge to the yellow wings distinctive. Often when I see one there would be more on the downs but in the late afternoon there wasn't any more Clouded Yellows, and the only other immigrant was a Painted Lady Butterfly with the resident butterfly species, including Wall Browns, and other insects including a female Emperor Dragonfly.
road embankment on the south side of the A27 flyover as it crosses the
Road (at the edge of the horse's field) hosted two female
Chalkhill Blue Butterflies crawling over
the small prostrate leaves of Horseshoe Vetch.
They seem to have a preference for the prostrate form of Horseshoe
Vetch rather than the upright form/variety
on the Slonk Hill bank. Altogether Mill
Hill provided a count of just 14 male and 14 female Chalkhill
Blues in the late afternoon. This is likely
to be an understatement as the females are much harder to see.
Ten different butterfly species were seen in the afternoon.
Further Brown Argus Butterflies are recorded from Lancing Ring meadows. In this case the identification has been made by Andy Horton (Brenda Collins had the species down as a Common Blue female).
20 August 2004
In the warm (21.3 ºC) fresh breeze (Force 5), it was too windy for many butterflies and at the end of the Chalkhill Blue flight period with just 40 butterflies (28 male and 12 female), with almost half of them in the Triangle are of the upper slopes. The list is in the Database.
Large White caterpillars have been stripping the leaves of Nasturtiums in Shoreham and Lancing, and undoubtedly all over Britain.
A few brighter Red Admirals and a Painted Lady were around in a year that has seen very few migrant butterflies an overcast day on the Coastal Link Cyclepath north of the A27 Flyover..
Will it be the last Gatekeeper Butterfly sparring with a Speckled Wood on the footpath from The Street to the Waterworks Road at the top (The Street) end?
17 August 2004
A Chalkhill Blue Butterfly and Clouded Yellow Butterfly are photographed on Lancing Ring meadows.
An Adonis Blue Butterfly is recorded and both males and females are photographed, the first time this butterfly has been recorded from the Lancing Ring meadows. (Identification by Andy Horton)
16 August 2004
I visited the upper slopes of Mill Hill for the primary purpose of photographing the underwings of the small brown blue butterflies to make sure I had identified the female Common Blue Butterflies and the Brown Argus Butterflies correctly.
underwing views confirmed my original identifications (on
the underside hind wing of the Brown Argus two of the spots line up to
form a colon). The Brown
Argus Butterflies were usually smaller, although
occasionally very small Common Blue Butterflies
occurred. They were all intermingled and chose the same nectar plants and
occasionally sparred with each other. The Brown
Argus Butterflies were quicker to open their
wings on an overcast day, but the Common Blues
did this readily as well, just not as quickly.
what are the caterpillars feeding on because there does seem to be there
usually quoted food plants on Mill Hill? The Millennium
Butterfly Atlas lists Common Rock-rose
(Helianthemum nummularium) is used almost exclusively on calcareous
grassland. In other habitats it uses annual food plants, mainly Dove's-foot
Crane's-bill (Geranium molle) and
Common Stork's-bill (Erodium cicutarium). There are also recent
reports of egg-laying on Cut-leaved Crane's-bill (G. dissectum),
Crane's-bill (G. pratense), and
Hedgerow Crane's-bill (G. pyrenaicum).
Meadow Crane's-bill on Mill Hill
Brown Argus (Butterfly Conservation)
PS: I am not sure that Common Rock-rose is strictly a plant of chalklands as it is found in minute amounts on clay locally and Dove's-foot Crane's-bill is found by the sea, on fields next to the Waterworks Road, and in very isolated and small amounts on a meadow near Beeding Hill.
The location of the adult Brown Argus Butterflies on Mill Hill supports the feeding on Meadow Crane's-bill, Geranium pratense.
commonest butterflies mostly hiding in the
long grasses near the car park were Common
Blues with an estimated 150 seen and many
more in hiding. The Chalkhill Blues
were past their best with 45, 39 on the lower
slopes and six above the ridge. Other butterflies in order of
prevalence were both male and female Meadow
Small Heaths, with
over a dozen Brown Argus Butterflies, a
handful of Small Whites, a
few Large Whites, two
Ladies, one or two
Wall Browns, and a solitary Adonis
very bright and large flying over the area I have christened as the Triangle.
were not seen.
The Flounced Rustic Moth, Luperina testacea, was photographed in Shoreham, probably in the town.
Eleven species of butterfly were present on Mill Hill and thirteen in the day.
Butterfly Walk on Lancing Ring
Brianne Reeve led the walk which started at 11:00 am, 30 minutes later than planned because of the continual rain and was of restricted duration and length, just skirting the meadows to the west of Barton's Wood, and never even approaching Lancing Clump itself, and in between the repeated showers, the walk was not noted for its butterflies, it was nevertheless interesting in a lot of respects.
observations included a handful of Brown
Argus Butterflies, the first time these
had been observed in these meadows: they appeared grey in flight (more
like a Small Blue)
and all the butterflies observed lacked the white in the lunules underneath
the orange rim spots on the upper wing (which occur on the very similar
Blue Butterflies, which appears orangey
or blue-brown-blue in flight).
(The Brown Argus ID was double-checked with an underwing photograph and confirmed.)
Brown Argus Identification Notes
A Small Heath Butterfly needs to be added to the list. This is another first for Lancing Ring on the Nature Notes (although they have been found to the west of Lancing Ring before).
There were a handful of Small Heaths around and an equal number of Clouded Yellows.
Butterfly List: Meadow Brown, Wall, Speckled Wood, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Large White, Small White, Small Heath, Clouded Yellow. (I only saw the first seven of nine species.)
It was a Strong Breeze (Force 6) gusting to Gale Force on Shoreham Beach, so on Mill Hill it was much too windy for butterflies and even for flying radio controlled model aeroplanes which were mostly grounded.
Still, on the upper slopes and in the butterfly copse (near the Waterworks Road) twelve species of butterflies were recorded on an unfavourable day. Because of the breeze I did not consider it worthwhile visiting the lower slopes. Small Heaths were probably present; I just forgot to look for them.
A Wall Brown Butterfly was photographed in a Lancing Ring meadow.
I made a slight detour along the Slonk Hill (South Bank) trail and I noted the fall in the numbers of Gatekeeper Butterflies with only one positively recorded, but in the woodland Speckled Woods were frequently seen with at least twenty crossing my path. At the top of The Drive (opposite Buckingham Barn on the south bank), a grey Small Blue Butterfly was seen, possibly the same one seen on 25 July 2004. This second brood Small Blue is a notable record. (At this time of the year, small Common Blues are around, but this identification was confirmed with a clear photograph.) Just eight different species of butterflies in the afternoon in a period of under an hour.
Adur Butterflies Flight Times
Temperatures reached 28.8 ºC with a steady breeze and high humidity (54% to 82%) (the lower humidity coincided with the higher temperatures) so it was not an optimum day for butterfly watching.
In a heatwave (25.3 ºC), it was disappointing as I seemed to have missed the peak for the emergence of the Chalkhill Blue Butterflies this year. On the lower slopes of Mill Hill; my estimated count was about 175 evenly distributed over the slopes with a few in the long grasses on the top, giving a total number of about 500.
a bonus there were plenty of other butterflies
around, including a few Brown Argus
Butterflies, my first confirmed sighting
of this species from Mill Hill, the absence of white lunules nearer than
the linear orange spots to edge of the upper wing distinctive and separating
these from the female Common Blue Butterflies.
Common Blue Butterflies exceeded one hundred
in the long grasses, mostly north of the car park. At the northern end
of the lower slopes a pristine Adonis Blue
was immediately distinctive from the Chalkhill
Blues, which were all worn and battered to
some extent. Wall Browns
numbered about ten mostly just south of the reservoir where the Cocksfoot
is, it was difficult to be sure of their numbers with their repeated sparring
with the Meadow Browns. Small
Heath Butterflies were frequently seen,
and their numbers must have been underestimated before. Fifteen species
of butterfly were seen around midday. Gatekeeper
Butterflies were showing a fall off in
numbers from last week. A Red Admiral Butterfly
was added to the list in the early evening to make sixteen for the day.
Mill Hill Nature Reserve
Adur Butterfly Database 2004
Adur First Butterfly Dates 2004
Brown Argus Identification Notes
I visited Anchor Bottom, (Dacre Gardens entrance), near Upper Beeding, for a comparative look at the lower part of this downland, which in historical times, before the "improvement" and cattle gazing, had a reputation for butterflies. Dodging the cow pats in the long coarse grasses, I observed just a dozen butterflies of four species, including one smaller than usual Chalkhill Blue. There was one Common Blue Butterfly, one Small Heath Butterfly and a handful of Meadow Browns. There was also a faded 6-spot Burnet Moth, which disconcertingly had the sixth spot faded that it could just be discerned.
visited the Slonk Hill North road embankment which
contains an expanse of more upright Horseshoe
Vetch which is within the dispersal
area of Mill Hill Chalkhill Blues,
but despite being established for over 30 years, this area was noted by
a complete absence of butterflies and no Chalkhill
Blues, not even a vagrant were to be seen.
In contrast a small garden plot sized area of road embankment south-east of the bridge, over the by-pass, to Mill Hill contained twenty male Chalkhill Blues.
conclusions I draw are:
1 August 2004
A Wall Brown was photographed amongst other butterflies in a meadow near Lancing Ring.
On the lower slopes of Mill Hill, I must a have missed a few emergences and the Chalkhill Blue Butterflies I attempted to count and eventually arrived at a estimate of about 225 on the half transect ramble. Immediately, it was obvious that there was too many for an accurate count. This would make me estimate about 600 Chalkhill Blues on the hill. They were already beginning to disperse. Females were frequently discovered but they could be outnumbered by about ten to one by the blue males. Many of the Chalkhill Blues were worn, not yet frayed at the edges, but none seemed to be in new pristine condition. A few of the Chalkhill Blue Butterflies had an extensive brown tinge on the wings.
Fifteen different species of butterfly were seen during the day. The August database will have the list. A faded 5-spot Burnet Moth was noticed but it turned out that one of its spots on each wing had faded and it was a 6-spot Burnet Moth with a few of the more prevalent and shinier 6-spot Burnet Moths. One of miniature Common Blues (not much larger than a Small Blue) was seen on the upper slopes of Mill Hill. Marbled Whites were fluttering over Mill Hill. The Comma total (including one on Mill Hill) of at least seven was high in one day. Speckled Woods were seen at least 15 times, probably more as I did not count them. Second brood Holly Blues were frequently seen, including a few on Mill Hill. Two second brood Brimstone Butterflies were on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, although one was in the scrub to the north.
Visits to Mill Hill late in the afternoon always find a reduced tally of butterflies and a quick walk around the lower slopes was no exception with just 35 Chalkhill Blues positively counted on the lower slopes with another five mixed with half a dozen Common Blues on the longer grasses of the upper slopes. It is still a bit early for the Chalkhill Blue emergence. The second and third appearance of Wall Browns (second brood) this year was the only other notable observation, once on a bramble bush as the trail branches off into the area I have christened the Triangle and the other seen on the path by the reservoir. No Marbled Whites showed.
One Hummingbird Hawk Moth, Macroglossum stellatarum, my first this year, visited my south Lancing garden (TQ 186 044).
Common Blue Butterflies are often common on the Lancing Ring meadows.
25 July 2004
The noteworthy butterflies were the two Small Blues definitely confirmed at the road embankment at the top of The Drive, Shoreham-by-Sea, of which one was in a clean newish condition and the second one in the photograph was worn. My suspicion is that these butterflies were overlooked by me in previous years (possibly identified as Common Blues or Holly Blues).
Nine species of butterfly were seen without leaving the Shoreham town boundaries and urban area. Sixteen species of butterfly were seen in the lower Adur valley in the last week.
A steady Moderate Breeze (Force 4) from the south-west were not the ideal conditions for butterflies on the exposed downs. The approximate count of eighty Chalkhill Blue Butterflies (males 79, females 1), all but two were on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, indicated the peak time was probably still at least a week off. The Common Blue Butterflies were now beginning on the upper meadows with about a dozen fluttering around, but the Marbled Whites were passed their peak with only eight seen in flight amongst the longer grasses on the Mill Hill plateau. Large Whites were very frequently seen.
Twelve different species of butterfly were seen around midday.
Mill Hill Nature Reserve
A Peacock Butterfly is seen over the Saltings Field, just north of Botolphs, east of Annington, on the Coastal Link Cyclepath.
23 July 2004
Chased by a Small White Butterfly, the Marbled White only 150 metres by the cyclepath north of the Fly-over was the first ever for this precise area. The most prevalent butterflies around were Large Whites and Gatekeepers. The Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly near the Toll Bridge was so battered, faded and worn I was surprised that it could fly at all.
White Butterfly Images
A couple of Chalkhill Blues were seen on Southwick Hill.
A sea mist rolled over the Lancing Ring meadows and there were a few spots of rain. This did not promise to be very good for butterflies and only four Marbled White Butterflies were seen, three of them in the long grass immediately to the east of the Chalk Pit and none were observed in the meadows where 6-spot Burnet Moths were emerging from their cocoons.
Adur Butterfly Database (17-31 July 2004)
A Gatekeeper is photographed by Brenda Collins at Lancing Ring.
sudden appearance of a Peacock Butterfly
was a bit if a surprise, in the narrow
field next to the stream by the Steyning Road (TQ
In the hedgerows and on the road embankments and scrubby parts of Mill Hill, Gatekeeper Butterflies were the commonest species around with well over a hundred. Chalkhill Blues were now appearing in dribs and drabs with 32 males and one female (the first of the year) counted. Just three males were on the upper slopes and the rest were on the lower slopes. This is contrast to Marbled Whites which prefer the longer grass with 20 counted on the upper slopes and just two flying over the hedgerows on the lower slopes. There were thirteen different species of butterfly in just over two hours.
There were over 40 Six-spot Burnet Moths on Mill Hill.
Adur Burnet Moths
As the sun struggled to come out, so did the flying insects: hoverflies (at least four species) and butterflies (eight species in Shoreham town) in their dozens and scores, with bumblebees (three species), ladybirds (one species) and a few wasps as well. This was just in one garden and a twenty minute detour along the road embankment of Slonk Hill South which showed all the eight species, and probably more if I had time to search. The highlights were a completely unexpected Small Blue (the first recorded in July and with no possibility of a mistake). This dark blue-grey butterfly was neither worn nor pristine. A pale coloured Gatekeeper was an anomaly. The most numerous butterflies were the normal orange Gatekeepers and Small/Essex Skippers with numbers seen around midday over 40 each and many more hiding in the longer grasses. The other species in order of prevalence were Meadow Browns (20+), Large Whites, Small Whites, Holly Blues (4+) and at least two Red Admirals. The number of White Butterflies was at least 15. The small Skippers looked like two species, one orange one which may be the Small Skipper and some darker ones which could be Essex Skippers.
Adur Butterfly Database (from 17 July 2004)
Adur Butterflies Flight Times
Adur Skippers Page
There were two Green-veined White Butterflies on Adur Recreation Ground and one Large White Butterfly on the cyclepath south-east of Toll Bridge in the early afternoon after a morning of thunder and half an inch of rain (1.5 mm).
A Green-veined White Butterfly was photographed by Brenda Collins on Lancing Ring.
It was too humid for anything so esoteric as working out if the skippers are Small Skippers or Essex Skippers, and the list of butterflies was just that, a list:
Blues 8 (counted, all on the lower
slopes of Mill Hill)
Marbled Whites 19 (counted: 2 on lower slopes, 13 on upper slopes near the top car park, a further 2 near the reservoir on Mill Hill, 2 on the Adur levels cyclepath south of the cement Works at Upper Beeding.)
Small Tortoiseshell E 5+ Mill Hill, Adur Levels
Red Admiral 3 (Mill Hill copse, Butterfly Copse near the Waterworks Road, cyclepath north of Old Shoreham)
Large Whites E 40+ (Mill Hill and more on the cyclepath north of Old Shoreham)
Small Whites 1+ (Buckingham Avenue, Shoreham)
Green-veined White 1+ (Streamside)
Small or Essex Skipper 30+ (20+ Mill Hill upper, 10+ Adur Levels)
11 or 12 species
Pyrausta aurata 2+
Pyrausta nigrata 2+
plus small species.
On the upper slopes of Mill Hill, there was a very faded Burnet Moth photographed.
Two fresh Comma Butterflies were seen at Malthouse Meadows, Sompting with other species.
Just got back from a detour visit to Malthouse Meadow, Sompting. Lots of butterflies on the wing.
Meadow Brown 100+
Small Skipper 20+
Small Tortoiseshell 20+
Small Copper 2
Red Admiral 1
Lancing Butterflies and Moths
Comment: the Skippers (photographed in the Lancing Skipper Gallery) from Malthouse Meadow seem both darker on the topside and greener on the underside than skippers found in other parts of the lower Adur valley.
Plus a Small White each in Kingston Buci and Middle Road, Shoreham, a dearth of these cabbage pest butterflies so far this year. Whites usually occur around the Sea Kale on Shoreham Beach.
A possible flying Ringlet Butterfly, was rejected as I could not get a proper look, amongst the omnipresent Meadow Browns by a stream adjacent to the cyclepath just south of the disused Cement Works at Upper Beeding. The butterfly rose and flew away into the Hawthorn hedges that were virtually trees. It seemed to have ringed dots on its underwing and any later observations of this butterfly (by me) may lead me to confirm this sighting. Both sexes of Meadow Brown were present and flirting.
The Victorian History of Sussex has the name for this butterfly as the Large Heath, Satyrus tithonas. This name has now been allocated to another species not known from Sussex.
According to MBGBI Vol. 7 part 1, it was first called the Gatekeeper by Harris in 1766. Hedge Brown doesn't appear to have arrived until Frohawk in 1924. It has had many other vernacular names over the years including Hedge Eye with Double Specks (sic), Orange Field, Clouded Argus and Small Meadow Brown.
Morris in 1895 called the species we know as the Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus the Small Meadow Brown, but also Large Heath and Gate-keeper. To add to the confusion he called the species we know as the Wall Lasiommata megera Gate-keeper, but also Speckled Wall and Wall Butterfly. The Meadow Brown was the Large Meadow Brown, and the Small Heath was the Least Meadow Brown. Kirby in 1901 calls the Gatekeeper the Large Heath, with no alternatives. Furneaux in 1907 calls the Gatekeeper the Large Heath or Small Meadow Brown: no mention of Hedge Brown. By 1914 Frohawk calls everything by the names with which we are familiar today, but uses Hedge Brown without mentioning the synonym "Gatekeeper".
was a Small Skipper
in this area and a Large White Butterfly
flew over the towpath by the river drained of tidal water on a low neap.
There was one very dark Red Admiral Butterfly that rose from the path as I cycled along under the clouds.
In the narrow field next to the stream by the Steyning Road (TQ 209 068) there was a Green-veined White Butterfly.
There are several hundred Stinging Nettle plants along the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham, but relatively few, just two in at least a thousand visibly hosted the caterpillars of the Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly.
On an overcast morning Gatekeeper Butterflies were in the hedgerows, number undetermined but not nearly at their maximum, and just eight Marbled Whites were observed on Mill Hill near the reservoir (although the upper slope meadows near the car park were not visited) with just the one Small Skipper and a Cinnabar Moth fluttering around in the same long grass area.
A Small Tortoiseshell was photographed by Brenda Collins in Lancing.
The first Chalkhill Blue Butterflies of 2004 are seen on Mill Hill. Two blues emerged in the morning.
From the Waterworks Road to Mill Hill, there was one Small Tortoiseshell, one Meadow Brown and one Gatekeeper.
On Mill Hill there were ten Marbled Whites, a handful of Small Heaths, one or two Meadow Browns, at least one Gatekeeper, but it was an overcast day with unpleasant multiple dog owners, so I did not feel like staying around.
On a detour from work a walk around the Malthouse Meadow, Sompting, I found:
Copper 1 (first of the year)
Meadow Brown 50+
Large Skipper (ID problem to be resolved, probably absent?)
Small Skipper (collectively both species = 6)
Marbled White 2
Painted Lady 2
Small Tortoiseshell 30+
Red Admiral 2
plus other bugs and beetles
essential difference is that Large Skipper always shows a U- or S-shaped
band of clear-cut paler square patches towards the apex of the forewing,
one patch in each membrane.
Silver-spotted does likewise, and there's something of the same in Lulworth.
In Lulworth these pale patches or "spots" form a rough circle, whereas in Large they take on a highly consistent U- or S-shaped formation. They are visible on the underside of the wing too, though less so because the ground colour itself is lighter there. Once learned, this pattern is immediately recognisable. Small and Essex Skippers have no such lighter spots or patches on the upper wings.
The sun was shining and the temperature reached 23.9 ºC. The beginning of July is not really noted for large varieties of local butterflies.
The estimated number and species at each location:
A27 road embankment (Buckingham to Slonk Hill South):
Meadow Brown 7+
Small Skipper 10+ (very small and although quite heavily pigmented thought to be Small Skippers, amorous, photographed on right) t least one of these has been identified as an Essex Skipper.
Large White 1
Gatekeeper 1 + 5 (Five Gatekeepers were around the footpath that goes south to the Waterworks from Mill Hill bridge, at the top by the remnants of the broken stile.)
Burnet Moth (probably 6-spot) 1
Lower slopes of Mill Hill:
Small Heath 15 (not counted)
Skipper 1 (very orange with black marks)
Common Blue 1 (field to the north: very brief visit)
Meadow Browns 8 (not counted)
Pyrausta nigrata Moth
Upper Slopes of Mill Hill:
Small Heath 5 (not counted)
Meadow Browns 6 (not counted)
Small Tortoiseshell 2 (One was extremely faded, almost bleached of colour)
Gatekeeper 6 (not counted)
LINK TO THE MILL HILL WILDLIFE REPORTS FOR SUMMER & AUTUMN 2004
Town and Gardens of Shoreham (brief):
Holly Blue 1 (image)
My total different species for the day was ten. Three definite additional species were seen by Ray Hamblett.
There first butterfly for several days was a Red Admiral Butterfly on the cyclepath south-east of Toll Bridge. Over the dead end path, south of where a narrow path veers off by the eroded chalk riverbank, south of the railway buffer, through the arch of Buddleia, as it opened up into a wild meadow of Kidney Vetch and other wasteland flora (mixed with colonisers from nearby gardens), at least two Meadow Brown Butterflies fluttered around in the late afternoon weak sunshine as the clouds dispersed.
2 July 2004
the larval food plant is greater bird's-foot trefoil and the habitat is
marshy, it sounds like Five-spot Burnet (Zygaena
trifolii) subsp. decreta, but this
is no longer found east of the New Forest as far as I know. The flight
time is late June to early August, but as your picture shows a rather worn
specimen at end June, it might indicate something else. Subsp.
is found on chalk downland south of the Thames (this includes Sussex) and
flies earlier - mid May to mid June. Larval foodplant in this case is Bird's-foot
The Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet (Z. lonicerae subsp. latomarginata) is certainly in your area, found on both marshes and chalk downs, and flies from late June to July.
Both species have a blue-green sheen, but Z. lonicerae rarely shows confluence of the two middle spots while Z. trifolii often shows them merged, and there is much more variability of the spots.
Altogether not conclusive either way! They are not easy to tell apart.
Cyclepath and wasteland SE of the Toll Bridge:
Meadow Brown 1
Waterworks Road Butterfly Copse and footpath to Mill Hill;
Common Darter Dragonfly
Meadow Brown Butterfly 3+
Top of Chanctonbury Drive, road embankment SE of Mill Hill bridge:
Small Blue Butterfly 1
Upper Slopes of Mill Hill; approaches south of the reservoir:
Small Tortoiseshell 1
Small Heath 5+
Meadow Brown 2+
Lower slopes of Mill Hill:
Comma 2 (possibly Small Tortoiseshells)
Common Blue 1
Large White 1
Meadow Brown 1
Pyrausta aurata Moth 1 (correct ID)
Vestal Cuckoo Bumblebee, Psithyrus vestalis 2+
Upper Slopes of Mill Hill: copse, scrub (NW)) and long and short grasses:
Red Admiral 1
Small Heath 5+
Meadow Brown 2+
three common bumblebees were seen frequently.
Other day-flying moths and hoverflies were
not specifically noted and recorded.
Dark Green Fritillaries have been recorded from known sites in Sussex but none seem to have been seen on Mill Hill.
Buffeted by a Strong Breeze (Force 6) from the south-west, there were just nine butterflies of five species to be seen in an hour in the late afternoon. All were recorded on the Slonk Hill South Trail, mostly at the Buckingham Road end, amongst the Kidney Vetch and Pyramidal Orchids.
list did include my first Comma Butterfly
the year and the first in the Adur district (but an earlier April record
of one was seen in Tottington
Wood near Small Dole). This butterfly
appeared more orangey than usual. I think
this is a characteristic of the first brood of the
and this butterfly did appear slightly battered and was not pristine. The
other butterflies of one each at the western end were a Small
Blue, a Meadow
Brown, a Red
Admiral and a Speckled
Wood in order in which they were seen.
On the road embankment to the east where the Spotted
Orchids were losing their petals, there were
just four more Meadow Browns.
Adur First Butterfly Dates 2003-2004
Red Admiral Butterflies danced over fallen branches on the ground in Lancing Clump but no large trees were felled in the gales of two days ago. In Barton's Wood and the bridlepath approaches to the Clump from the east, there were half a dozen Speckled Wood Butterflies and a handful of Small Tortoiseshells.
most productive butterfly area were the meadows to the south-east of Lancing
Clump where the Marbled White Butterflies
fought over the Greater Knapweed
and Kidney Vetch
flowers. In a small area near the southern hedgerow at least 30 of these
butterflies could be seen in a radius of two metres, and in an area of
meadow five times this size area the estimate was over 100 Marbled
White Butterflies, but they were not present
in these numbers all over the large meadow so a total estimate could not
be ascertained. There were a handful of Meadow
Blues, Small Tortoiseshells and
I think these were all
and the one successful photograph is shown on the right. (Small
Skipper ID confirmed by Patrick Bonham
Leps Yahoo Group.)
Lancing Ring: Small Skipper 2003 (image)
Tortoiseshell Butterflies were widespread
in ones and two over wasteland like the cyclepath
and towpaths near Old Shoreham Toll Bridge
and a few on the meadows near Lancing Clump.
15-20 fresh Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies were nectaring on Creeping Thistle at Malthouse Meadow, Sompting.
On the southern embankment of the A27 Shoreham By-pass, near the Buckingham Park end, there were a pair of amorous skippers, but I was unable to confirm if they were Small Skippers which they appeared like or the very similar Large Skippers. There were small skipper-coloured moths in the long grasses. The red flying insect was a Cinnabar Moth.
Amongst the long grasses and flowers in the north-east corner of Mill Hill, my first Large Skipper of 2004 put in an appearance (note the width and length of the abdomen). I thought it was a Small Skipper at first, until it opened up its wings. An earlier probable Small Skipper near an Elderberry Bush, south-east of the reservoir is not now a definite. On the upper slopes of Mill Hill, there were a handful of Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies, plus at least five Meadow Browns, half a dozen Common Blues, and a dozen Small Heath Butterflies. In the scrub there was a single Red Admiral, in the woods to the north and north-west at least eight Speckled Woods. On the lower slopes the Small Heaths were amorous and were estimated at 30+ with the occasional Meadow Brown and at least two Common Blues, one female and one male. One Burnet Moth flew in the weak sunshine.
the Adur Levels (cyclepath)
there were a handful of Small Tortoiseshell
Butterflies and one Small
On an overcast breezy day with showers and rumblings of thunder, it was the Pyramidal Orchids that had taken over from Spotted Orchids on the southern bank of the A27 Shoreham By-pass (Buckingham to Slonk Hill South) and the only butterflies in flight were a couple of Meadow Browns. There was one Burnet Moth caterpillar crawling up the stalk of a tall Greater Bird's Foot Trefoil plant. (5-spot Burnet Moth caterpillars a feed on Greater Bird's Foot Trefoil, according to the books, but it may be too late for their larvae.)
Adur Burnet Moths
A cooler day with a 60% cloud cover, we took an early evening walk on the Lancing Ring area. The Brambles are in full flower and attracting numerous bees to feed on the nectar. Among the shrubbery Elder, Viburnum and Honeysuckle are in flower. In the ankle high regrowth of Dogwood and meadow plants a caterpillar discovered crawling over the Dogwood is one of the Burnet moth larva, but which one, the 6-spot, Zygaena filipendulae?
In the south eastern corner of the lower meadow I disturbed two or three Meadow Brown Butterflies and a single Marbled White fluttered lazily into the air and settled a little further off.
Lancing Caterpillars (including image)
Just two definite reddish Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies on New Monks Farm to the south-east of the weighbridge and a possible Small Skipper.
Much to my astonishment, an early (one week early) Marbled White Butterfly settled on a patch of grass immediately in front of me on the lower slopes of Mill Hill (at the northern end as the path leaves the open into the Hawthorn scrub). A handful of battered Adonis Blues were mostly on the lower slopes, and 40+ Small Heath Butterflies and a handful of Meadow Browns were on the lower slopes and above the ridge. A Small Skipper* fluttered around an Elderberry bush at the top of the path, where a spider had caught a 6-spot Burnet Moth (or was it a Cinnabar Moth?) in its web. One large butterfly was disturbed and flew off with such rapidity that this was notable in itself: it had a large hint of orange to it and the favourite must be a Meadow Brown, (not confirmed).
(* Originally there was a possible doubt over the identity: it is now 90% sure to be a Small Skipper with the profile of the Small Skipper, rather than a Large Skipper, and a complete absence of black markings on the underside of the wings. NB: All the 2005 sightings really indicate that this could only have been a Large Skipper.)
In addition on the footpath approach to Mill Hill from the Waterworks Road, a handful of Meadow Brown Butterflies, at least two Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies, and at least one Common Blue Butterfly and one Small Blue Butterfly were seen.
Adur First Butterfly Dates 2004
Under a almost cloudless blue sky, the air temperature reached 28.8 ºC in the early afternoon.
A single Red Admiral Butterfly was seen feeding on Escallonia flowers in central Lancing. A silken nest of the Lackey Moth was spotted in the Hawthorn tree a week ago and the stripy caterpillars are appearing in the garden.
I have underestimated the number of Small Blue Butterflies on the road embankment on Slonk Hill South as I was not looking in the prime spot where the Kidney Vetch grows mostly on the A27 By-pass roadside at the bottom of the steep crumbly slope, whereas I usually approach from the boundary copse on the south side. A further twenty of these butterflies were seen in different areas from where they were previously recorded. This brings the cumulative total actually seen to well over a hundred and with this tiny butterfly, most of them remain unseen, so the actual numbers must be much higher. At least one male Meadow Brown Butterfly was restless in the breeze.
(The first Small Skipper of the year nectared on Kidney Vetch. I only got a side view of the Small Skipper but it seems most likely, although possibly early. 2005 observations seem to make a Large Skipper much more likely. Brand new emergences are much brighter.)
On a sticky humid day, I was not prepared for a butterfly I did not recognise: when my eyes focused in and the features revealed themselves and it looked more like a giant Dingy Skipper with clearer markings than any other species. Alas, the butterfly was elusive just on the upper part of the slope just down the path from the ridge when arriving from the south. This area is scrub and long grass. (This area is where the Wall Brown Butterfly is usually found and this was what I expected but it was not this species.) First of all I thought it was likely to be a Dark Green Fritillary, which would be an addition to the Mill Hill list. On reflection I think this is unlikely. I On further reflection, the possibility is still there. I only had a brief glance and the lower upper wing is not so brightly patterned so it is conceivable that it is this species.
Just north of the reservoir on the upper slopes, a worn (faded but not battered) Painted Lady Butterfly was seen as it fluttered around and settled. On the way to Mill Hill from the south-west, a Small Blue Butterfly and a Meadow Brown were seen on the footpath at the top of the road embankment.
Adonis Blues were mating down on the lower slopes. One Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly, one Brimstone, a handful of Meadow Browns were also recorded.
In the Hawthorn copse that dominates the northwest corner of Mill Hill Nature Reserve, a half a dozen Speckled Wood Butterflies fluttered and then settled. There was just a single Red Admiral Butterfly. Nectaring in the Old Erringham grazing land to the north of Mill Hill, there were several male Common Blue Butterflies.
This brings a total of ten different species of butterfly for the day, excluding the unidentified species.
A Red Admiral Butterfly fluttered against a light breeze from the north over my front garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham, (TQ 224 055).
On a breezy overcast afternoon the 30+ blue butterflies plus at least one brown butterfly were all Common Blue Butterflies, even though they were often a very bright blue. There were no Adonis Blues to be seen on the lower slopes. As the butterflies were not in active flight and only rose to the air at my approach, the numbers were thought to be far larger. The same applies to the Small Heath Butterflies when 40 were disturbed. A large battered Brimstone Butterfly, flying strongly, with a greenish tinge was a bit of a surprise but not the first record in June. There was one Meadow Brown Butterfly near the Tor Grass.
On the road embankment by Chanctonbury Drive (SE of the bridge to Mill Hill) the dozen or so Small Blues were seen immediately with a Painted Lady Butterfly, which was past pristine condition without being faded or battered. In Chanctonbury Drive over the grass a Red Admiral Butterfly fluttered by.
There was a Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly amongst the Stinging Nettles on the Waterworks Road.
This gives a total of twelve different species of butterfly on the day.
On the town side of the bridge leading to Mill Hill that transverses the main A27 road, on the east there is a small Hawthorn copse (at the top of Chanctonbury drive, north side) leading to the grasses of the trunk road steep bank. In this small garden sized plot of long grasses and scrub, between 30 and 50 was my estimate of the number of Small Blue Butterflies. At least a dozen of these were seen all at one time, including at least two pairs mating, but its was difficult to work out their numbers because it was in the afternoon and they hid down in the long grasses most of the time.
constitutes the first positive record of this butterfly for Mill Hill,
which makes the number of butterflies as
26 definites. If these numbers are repeated all along the road embankment,
the colony must number several hundred. A female Common
Blue Butterfly looked much larger in comparison
to the smallest of the British blues and the Speckled
Wood Butterfly that arrived was larger
Mill Hill Butterfly List
the nettle patch (footpath leading to the Waterworks
Road) at the top of The Street, Old Shoreham, four Small
Tortoiseshell Butterflies and one Red
Admiral were observed.
Adur Butterflies Flight Times
On the Waterworks Road there was one Small White Butterfly, one Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly and one Red Admiral Butterfly. In the Butterfly Copse (TQ 209 063), there was one Speckled Wood Butterfly. On the cyclepath north of the Toll Bridge, just one faded Painted Lady Butterfly was seen in a brief visit.
This also the first June record for the Speckled Wood, Small White and the Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies on the Nature Notes pages. As these are common butterflies, they may just not have been noted down before.
Adur Butterflies Flight Times
The first Red Admiral Butterfly for 2004 in the Adur area and lower valley is seen in north Sompting on a hot sunny day when the air temperature reached 25.0 ºC.
6 June 2004
The first positive Wall Brown Butterfly of 2004 in the lower Adur valley was seen on the path between the Waterworks Road (Old Shoreham) and Mill Hill (south of the A27 Shoreham by-pass). It flew strongly and it was tricky to confirm the identification (this butterfly may be under-recorded) and even more tricky to photograph.
A small white butterfly was flying strongly over the southern part of the upper slopes of Mill Hill. This was definitely identified as a Green-veined White Butterfly which increases the confirmed New Millennium Mill Hill butterfly list at 25 plus two probables. This also the first June record for this butterfly on the Nature Notes pages.
Adur Butterflies Flight Times
both Adonis Blues
and Common Blue Butterflies are out together, it is a perpetual problem
to differentiate them, even with a close up photograph.
I identified these two as Adonis Blues from their chequerboard (black veining on the white fringes extending onto the wing) fringes. However, this can be misleading as sometimes Common Blues have black lines that are present on the white fringes.
cf. Common Blues below
on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, the Horseshoe
Vetch had ceased its main flowering and could
be seen on the ground, but the spectacular bloom of a fortnight before
that could be seen from half a mile away had now receded to a green expanse.
Blue butterflies were immediately noticeable. On the normal transect travelling
the distance of the path to the copse and back, 28
Blue Butterflies were counted as positive
single (not counted twice) butterfly sightings (24
indeterminate) with only one Dingy
Skipper settling although there could
have been more. All three definite females were the conventional chocolate
brown colour. The midday visit also yielded an estimated 50
Small White Butterflies flew over the allotments in Shoreham.
A single male Green-veined White Butterfly flew into the field between the Waterworks (at Old Shoreham) and the east side of the Steyning Road.
The earlier stages of Small Tortoiseshell caterpillars are much blacker (Image). This one was seen on the Spring Dyke.
The first Common Blue Butterflies appear on the Lancing Ring meadows. The female Common Blue Butterfly in the photograph (on the left) showed an excessive amount of blue in her colouring. The females of this butterfly are usually all brown.
Blue Butterfly of
2004 was spotted in the buttercup
strewn field north-west of Beeding Hill car
park early in the afternoon.
Almost immediately afterwards I saw what looked more like an Adonis Blue on the top slopes of Anchor Bottom. Anchor Bottom was decorated in yellow but this was from buttercups not Horseshoe Vetch (food plant of caterpillars of the Adonis Blue) and in the absence of the food plant this identification is unlikely. A minute or two later on the chalk and flint lane from Beeding Hill to Castletown, a Holly Blue Butterfly fluttered around the bushes that lined each side of the bridleway.
On the eastern road verge to the south-west of New House Farm (Upper Beeding) on the A2037 where the Beeding and Bramber road leaves the A283 Shoreham (to Steyning) Road (TQ 198 099) a brown butterfly flew around energetically and refused to settle. It was almost certainly a Wall BrownButterfly, the first of the year, but I was unable to confirm this.
A dozen or more Common Blue Butterflies flew amongst the tall vegetation on the verge of the cyclepath near the abandoned Beeding (Shoreham) Cement Works. It was difficult to be sure of their numbers as many would be successfully hiding. Alas the Orange-tip Butterflies were not seen underneath the A27 Fly-over.
On the top ridge of Mill Hill the turf is full of buttercups and this may have led me to miss the large patches of Horseshoe Vetch above the ridge on the steeper bits because the yellow plants merge into one another and it was only by walking over the incline that can I see the ground flora of the salt-blasted grass turf exposed to the south-westerlies. This is the area where model aircraft are launched into the wind. There was one male Adonis Blue Butterfly that caught my eye. There were just another seven of these bright blue butterflies to be seen on the lower slopes.
slopes of Mill Hill
Early afternoon was not as impressive for the butterflies as two days before and the counts were as follows: Adonis Blue males 7, Small Heath 30+ (estimated), Grizzled Skipper 1+, Dingy Skipper 2+, Brimstone 1, and a handful of Small White Butterflies.
23 May 2004
The lower slopes of Mill Hill
The sunshine was intermittent and rather weak but it was still just about shirt-sleeves weather with the butterflies in order of first observed on the normal transect routes as follows:
Adonis Blue 19 (males 18 female 1)
Small Heath 20
Grizzled Skipper 5+
Dingy Skipper 13
Large White 1
Small White 1
Cinnabar Moth 1
These numbers are actual counts with care taken not to count a butterfly twice. As many butterflies would be missed or not disturbed the actual numbers would be higher than the counts. The transect walked involves the lower slopes only from the south skirting the western hedge/scrub on the lower path and a return by the main path. The distance as calculated by a ruler on a OS Explorer map (a larger scale map would be accurate) of the full transect is 700 metres (350 metres each way).
The half transect from the south involves skirting the hedge/scrub on the lower path but returning up the steps and through the scrub to the north on to the upper slopes.
Mill Hill Nature Reserve (including map)
Blue looked at bit different in colour
and underwing spots.
There is more blue on the upper wing and tadpole-like spot on the under forewing seems wider with three joined spots instead of two.
This is probably within the normal variations.
In the field between the Waterworks (at Old Shoreham) and the east side of the Steyning Road, it was really fascinating just how attached the smaller yellow butterfly was, as a pair of Green-veined White Butterflies were mating despite being bothered by other butterflies of the same species. There were about half a dozen in flight, the other four were soloists.
On the cyclepath to the north of the flyover, I spotted the colourful orange wing tips of the male Orange Tip Butterfly twice in quick succession. The attendant whites were thought to be their suitors. This is the first time this species of butterfly has been recorded in this area.
There were a handful of small dark blue butterflies fluttering over the Horseshoe Vetch and Restharrow on the steep chalk south-facing bank in the humid sunshine as the traffic roared past. These butterflies were Small Blue Butterflies, which is the first record on these Nature Notes pages. I counted half a dozen, but I would estimate that there were at least a dozen in flight in the hot sunshine around midday, but they were not beseen when I returned in the evening. These butterflies were smaller than a Grizzled Skipper. Some of the yellow flowering was because of Sow Thistle and there was an Ivy covering on the top of the cliff. The Slonk Hill banks on both side of road are rich in wild flowers and although not abundant in butterflies and moths, can show a variety.
A Peacock Butterfly was recorded on the footpath that runs alongside the A27 from the top of The Drive, Shoreham to the top of New Barn Road (bottom of Slonk Hill Farm Road). It was near the top of The Drive.
A Holly Blue Butterfly visited the privet hedge and the damp earth in my small front garden in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham.
(TQ 224 055)
Southwick Hill lacked any sort of interest, with the cows grazing almost every wild flower out of sight, with a one probable *Speckled Wood Butterfly in Holmbush Close, but that was before the climb up the hill. (* It could have been a Wall Brown, which would have been the first of the year.)
The Horseshoe Vetch is now flowering over almost its complete range on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, including the southern end of the steeper slopes that was not showing at all a week ago and could not be seen from a distance three days ago.
only butterflies on the lower
slopes of Mill Hill were Dingy Skippers
White (1) and
There was a Pyrausta
nigrata moth and one Treble-bar
A Peacock Butterfly fluttered and settled briefly on the footpath from the Waterworks Road to Mill Hill.
At the foot of the South Downs Way path as it crosses the Steyning to Shoreham road, my first Orange Tip Butterfly of the year fluttered by, the flicker of the orange wing tips of the male pleasing to observe. On the cyclepath from the South Downs Way Bridge (over the River Adur) to Old Shoreham, there was at least one Brimstone Butterfly, several Small White Butterflies, at least one Holly Blue Butterfly that caught my attention as I cycled.
Historically, the exposed west facing escarpment of Anchor Bottom had a reputation for butterflies, but there was a complete absence of both Horseshoe Vetch and Bird's Foot Trefoil (the important food plants for blue butterflies). The only butterfly on the downs was a Small Tortoiseshell nectaring on an Oil Seed Rape flower on the edge of an arable field.
Mill Hill: A very fleeting visit of five minutes at most to examine the extent of the Horseshoe Vetch: less than half was in full flower, and there were at least two Dingy Skippers in flight and quickly settling on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. One Small Heath Butterfly settled.
In the scrub in the north-west of Mill Hill Nature Reserve there were a handful of Brimstone Butterflies and at least one Speckled Wood Butterfly.
On an overcast day, the butterflies out on the lower slopes of Mill Hill were at least four Grizzled Skippers, at least four Dingy Skippers, about seven Small Heath Butterflies and one Large White.
The first butterfly of the year in the ivy copse on the footpath from the Waterworks Road to Mill Hill was a Speckled Wood.
Holly Blues are being regularly seen mostly in town, with slightly more in Lancing than Shoreham as singles almost always, occasionally two are seen close to each other, but not flirting.
A Large White Butterfly, the first of the year is seen in the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ 219 063). This is actually the first May record on these Nature Notes pages, but I expect it has been overlooked before. Holly Blue Butterflies are out in ones and twos all over Shoreham town. My first Small Heath Butterfly, the first of just three, were amongst a handful of Dingy Skippers and a Brimstone Butterfly on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
Adur First Butterfly Dates
A Holly Blue Butterfly fluttered around in the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ 219 063), presumably the same one seen before. The first brood seems always in fair numbers, but sometimes the numbers of the second brood of this butterfly can be scarce.
There was a handsome Peacock Butterfly at Cuckoo's Corner. Two Speckled Woods, a handful of Small Whites, a few Small Tortoiseshells, mostly orange and slightly faded, but one reddish one, all around Botolphs.
Lancing: My first Speckled Wood Butterfly of the year was seen flying in an area of a garden which mimicked it's favoured woodland setting near a large tree and shrubs overhanging an area of shaded turf. Close by, two Holly Blues danced with each other. A glimpse was seen of another butterfly which I suspect was a Small Tortoiseshell.
As the first Horseshoe Vetch and Milkwort were beginning to flower on the lower slopes of Mill Hill, I observed the first skipper butterflies of the year. An amorous pair of Grizzled Skippers dancing around the bramble borders, with at least one Dingy Skipper and two or more Brimstones. In the scrub in the north-west of Mill Hill there were two Speckled Wood Butterflies and a single Peacock Butterfly. On the open upper slopes there was another Brimstone and a handful of Small Tortoiseshells, orange in colour but not fresh, the orange dulled by age. In Shoreham town there were a handful of Small White Butterflies and a few Holly Blues. This gives a total of eight butterflies for the day.
Adur Butterflies Flight Times
There was a small moth that could be mistaken in flight for a Grizzled Skipper. It was only about half the size though and I have now identified this species as Pyrausta nigrata. The books record this moth flying in June and July or September and October. The main flying time on Mill Hill is April and May.
UK Moths Yahoo Group
UK Leps Yahoo Group
A Holly Blue Butterfly flew over twice and a Small White Butterfly returned three times to the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ 219 063)
A resident Holly Blue Butterfly and a passing male Orange Tip Butterfly graced my south Lancing garden (TQ 186 044).
23 April 2004
Three white butterflies heavily marked with black in three different locations in Shoreham in the sun under the blue sky (with minimal cloud). These were almost certainly Small Whites.
A male Orange Tip Butterfly and a Green-veined White Butterfly were seen in my Shermanbury garden.
Five species of butterfly have been sighted in the vicinity of in my south Lancing garden (TQ 186 044): Small White, Brimstone, Holly Blue, Peacock and Comma. This is the first time I have noted all five in the garden on the same day.
Both a male Brimstone Butterfly and Holly Blue Butterfly were seen in my south Lancing garden (TQ 186 044) under a blue sky with very few fluffy white clouds.
No butterflies seen in flight, despite the sun coming out in the late afternoon of the 19th. The others days were overcast.
The first Speckled Wood Butterfly of the year was recorded on the footpath between the Lancing College entrance road going towards Hoe Cottages on the route to Lancing Clump. On Lancing Clump, butterflies were in flight in the sunshine with the air temperature reaching 16.9 ºC. There were a handful of amorous Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies, at least three bright yellow Brimstones, half a dozen solitary Peacock Butterflies, at least three Small Whites and my first Holly Blue Butterfly this year. Another Holly Blue was seen in Lancing town.
Adur Butterflies Flight Times
The Violets on the parched lower slopes of Mill Hill were a bit more showy in the sunshine, about as noticeable as the downland version of this plant gets. There was at least one Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly on the open slopes, and a Peacock Butterfly in the scrub to the north.
Mill Hill: Shoreham Bank 2004
Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies flew over the scrub and the bare chalk south-west of the Toll Bridge. These ones were orange.
The first Holly Blue Butterfly of the year is seen in my south Lancing garden (TQ 186 044) at 3:50 pm.
Small White Butterflies and Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies fluttered on a sunny day with a blue sky and scarcely a wisp of cloud, the air temperature reached 19.1 ºC at1:34 pm. These butterflies were in their ones and twos over the gardens of Shoreham and Southwick, but were most noted down of the green open wharfage space at Fishersgate, opposite Shoreham Harbour Power Station.
Just a single Small White Butterfly fluttered over Buckingham Park in the sunshine.
9 April 2004
splendidly coloured male Emperor
pavonia, rested among the grasses at the top of the lower slopes
Mill Hill. It was discovered by Katherine
Hamblett and Tacita French. The caterpillars
probably feed on
There were six Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies and one pristine Peacock Butterfly.
Two Small White Butterflies were seen in Sompting.
Today's find was a Peacock Butterfly in fine condition spotted in the fields to the north of Woodmancote, Sussex.
2 April 2004
Tottington Wood south-east of Small Dole provided the first Comma Butterfly of the year.
About a dozen Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies in a field south of Partridge Green, Sussex this afternoon and another 14 in a field north of Henfield, Sussex.
I saw my first Small White Butterfly of the year, south-east of the Toll Bridge, in the sunshine by the eroded chalk riverbank and my first bright yellow Brimstone Butterfly at Cuckoo's Corner. The first butterfly of the year in Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham, (TQ 224 055), was a reddish Small Tortoiseshell flying strongly northwards. The Small Tortoiseshells were more a deep orange today by the Toll Bridge and one at Cuckoo's Corner.
A Brimstone Butterfly fluttered over Portslade allotments (TQ 255 060) and Southwick Green (TQ 241 053).
About 40 Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies settled on the bare chalk south-east of the Toll Bridge and these butterflies had an appearance with a tendency towards redness in colour. One pair danced around each other and flew over to the airport side of the river, covering the 100 metres width of the estuary (at low tide) in a few seconds.
Adur Levels 2004
A Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly fluttered over the shingle near the Church of Good Shepherd, Shoreham Beach. It looked like it had come in off the sea and it flew rapidly inland.
A Brimstone Butterfly flew over my North Farm Road, Lancing garden.
A Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly with a reddish hue was my first of the year seen on the Childing Pink patch of Silver Sands, Shoreham Beach east. This is likely to be an immigrant and confirms my suspicion that the reddish hued specimens are either immigrants or old butterflies emerging from hibernation, or both.
The first Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly of the year basked in the sunshine near Lancing Manor allotments.
22 March 2004
The first Brimstone Butterfly of the year fluttered in my Shermanbury garden.
A Brimstone Butterfly flew past my head near Lancing Station in the morning. (TQ 182 043)
A Painted Lady Butterfly was seen flying at about 8 mph against a light breeze (about 6 mph) from the north-west near Lancing Beach Green (by the Sailing Club where the path narrows between the green and Widewater Lagoon). This butterfly appeared to be an immigrant, probably on the long journey from Africa, possibly from France.
Another Painted Lady Butterfly was found on the edge of a golf course bunker at Benfield Valley Nature Reserve, Portslade (TQ 262 079) where the Blackthorn (=Sloethorn) was beginning to blossom.
It would have come as a bit of a shock to me if I had not already received a handful of local reports of Painted Lady Butterflies. A flutter of orange and the unmistakable patterns (now that I can recognise them instantly: to novices they could resemble a Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly) of a Painted Lady Butterfly that flew steadily over the southern section of Mill Hill. Later, a second Painted Lady flew around the copse and settled on the Beech leaves still on the tree and several times on the grass. I now think these are possibly immigrant butterflies rather than hibernating adults that have awoken. I am still undecided though.
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
Strong evidence for Immigration of Painted Ladies
Painted Ladies Summary 2003-4
Link to the Butterfly List 2003
Will the Red Admiral Butterfly that flew strongly northwards at roof eaves level across Gordon Road, Shoreham, be the last of the year?
Just as I was resigned to the end of summer, a shirt sleeves sunny 16.6 ºC brought a Clouded Yellow Butterfly fluttering over the waste land next to the river just north of Adur Riverside Industrial Park (north of Ropetackle, Shoreham) in the late morning. This is the first record of a Clouded Yellow Butterfly in November on the Adur Valley Nature Notes pages. Just after midday a Red Admiral Butterfly fluttered over the bushes by the railway track in Dolphin Road, Shoreham, and later in the afternoon another Red Admiral fluttered over the path by horse's field on the south-west approaches of Mill Hill, (south of the A27 main road).
Adur Butterflies Flight Times
UK November Butterflies
26 October 2003
Red Admiral and Speckled Wood Butterflies were seen in a Cokeham (west Lancing) garden near the reed beds.
Red Admiral 3 Mill Hill (1) Shoreham Town (2) Wall Brown 1 Mill Hill
18 October 2003
Small Tortoiseshell 1 Lancing Small White McIntyres Field (top) Lancing Red Admiral Lancing Clump, eastern car park
Yellow 3 Mossy Bottom, Mill
SE Toll Bridge (Jan Hamblett)
Red Admiral 2+ Mill Hill
Butterfly copse near the Waterworks Road
South Downs Link cyclepath just north of the A27 Flyover
Admiral 6+ Town
slopes of Mill Hill
Wall Brown 2 Adur Levels (horse's field next to the footpath from the Waterworks Road to Mill Hill) and lower slopes of Mill Hill
White 4+ Bramber south, towpath by the river
Clouded Yellow 1 Adur Levels (SE of Toll Bridge)
A very tattered Speckled Wood Butterfly in the scrub to the north of the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
Painted Ladies 2+ (North Farm Road, Lancing garden). Report by Ray Hamblett
Butterflies of Lancing
Blue Butterflies of Shoreham
Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and the Downs